While deciding what to make for dinner, we were faced with the greatest kitchen villain of all time.
Me: “What sounds good to you?”
Her: “I’m not sure, what sounds good to you?”
Me: “I am not sure either, does anything sound appealing to you?”
Of course, anyone would be weary of this cycle after a few minutes. After a few more rounds, we were hoping to find a protein that would be a little different than what we had before. In passing I had mentioned we should give lamb a shot. We had made it before, with fair results, but wasn’t something we came back to that often. So, after circling the meat counter at our local butcher shop more times than I care to count, I selected lamb blade steaks. I did this for a couple of of reasons: It cooks like beef as far the cooking application goes and has plenty of flavor. Granted, both in texture and taste lamb is different than anything else, but the flavor isn’t unpleasant in anyway.
So, I seasoned the steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper and they went onto the grill on medium high heat. Like steak or any other meat, once it hits the grill, leave it alone. After about 5-7 minutes on each side with a few turns you need to pull the lamb off so it can rest.
Lamb, even more than beef, doesn’t do well if it is overcooked. So, you want to shot for medium rare at most by the meat has rested. If you have applied heat correctly, you could have something that looks like this photo below.
Lets talk about the good shall we? First, the lamb was perfectly medium rare and moist. Also, the steaks were well seasoned and weren’t “gamey” as sometimes lamb may be described. However, the lamb was lack luster and underwhelming. In order to keep the meat moist that does mean that you may not be able to get the same color on it or get that delicious crispiness on the outer edges as one can do with pork or beef. In addition, the texture of meat, although cooked perfectly, can be a little chewy and make the experience of eating lamb not as enjoyable.
Takeaways? I think choice of meat is really the issue that comes front and center here. Perhaps a different cut, something that could have been cooked slower (a different cut of lamb) or perhaps a slow cooker application would do nicely for the shoulder blade steaks we had this evening. I think lamb will be something that I come back to, but next time, rethink the cut of meat before we apply the heat.